Under a new framework launched today in England and Wales, police will take action to prioritise violence against women and girls.
Violent men who harm women will see increased action against them- police will proactively identify individuals who pose the highest risk of harm to women and girls, and actively manage those individuals to prevent or reduce offending. There will be increased use of protective and preventative tools and orders, such as domestic violence protection orders and stalking protection orders, and swifter action on breaches.
All police forces will work to challenge sexism and misogyny in policing and to build women’s trust and confidence in police culture, standards and approach to violence against women and girls (VAWG). Forces will communicate clearly that misogynistic, sexist and sexualised behaviour will not be tolerated by anyone in policing and strengthen a ‘call it out’ culture where men act as upstanders, not bystanders.
They will also respond unequivocally to allegations of police-perpetrated abuse, learning from mistakes and best practice with an urgent review of all current allegations of sexual misconduct, domestic abuse and other VAWG-related offences against officers and staff, ensuring that they are being investigated fully and quickly.
The framework has been developed under the leadership of the new National Police Coordinator for VAWG, Deputy Chief Constable Maggie Blyth. She said: “Great improvements have been made in the policing response to VAWG over the last decade and everyday dedicated and professional police officers and staff take action that makes women and girls safer and brings perpetrators to justice.
“But this year has been a watershed moment for society and policing in how much more needs to be done to radically reduce violence against women and girls. Our legitimacy has been deeply damaged by Sarah Everard’s murder by a serving police officer, the abhorrent and inappropriate behaviour of officers photographing and sharing images of Bibaa Henry and Nicole Smallman’s dead bodies, and other examples of police officers abusing their position for sexual gain.
“In policing, we are determined to seize this moment to make fundamental and long-lasting change.”
Deputy Chief Constable Blyth also said that forces across the country will step up their use of policing powers to make sure that male violence against women and girls is being tackled effectively.
“Violent men who harm women and girls should be in no doubt that we are coming after them. We are going to increase the use of our unique police powers to relentlessly pursue perpetrators, manage offenders and disrupt their activities - whether in public spaces, online or behind closed doors.
“We want to help turn the tables so violent men feel under threat, not women and girls going about their lives.
“We are not calling for extra powers or legislation, or announcing new initiatives or pilots. Instead we are focusing on actions that will get the fundamentals right, that can be quickly implemented and that will have the greatest impact in the next year.”